The Issues With Ticketmaster

The Issues With Ticketmaster

If you have attended a concert or any major live event, odds are you have used the major company and the world’s largest ticketing marketplace, Ticketmaster.

Ticketmaster controls 70% of all ticketing sales for live events in the United States. It was the company’s merger with other major ticketing company, LiveNation back in 2010 that skyrocketed Ticketmaster into the world’s ticketing market giant we all know today. 

The merger of the two companies has caused Ticketmaster to triple in size within the last 20 years and paved the way for the company’s major dominance in the field.

While Ticketmaster’s success is partially due to the merger, Ticketmaster’s user-friendly and easy way to buy tickets has appealed to the public as the increase of live events has continued to rise in popularity and fully make a comeback from the Covid-19 Pandemic which caused the halt of live events in 2020.

“I think Ticketmaster is very useful and convenient to get tickets on. It’s the most accessible place and you can use it on most platforms,” junior Stephine Chu said.

Back in Nov. of 2022, when Grammy-winning pop singer, Taylor Swift announced her upcoming Taylor Swift’ The Eras’ Tour, fans became outraged at the company for their experiences trying to get tickets.  

The company offers a verified fan option, that while does not guarantee tickets, allows fans to sign up to become a verified fan and if randomly selected by Ticketmaster, the night before the presale goes live, chosen fans will be sent a code to enter when they can purchase tickets. 

Ticketmaster does this in hopes of tickets getting into the hands of fans instead of bots and then releasing available tickets to the general public a day or two later. 

But the astounding 14 million people who received a verified fan code caused the company to cancel the sale to the general public leaving many fans who planned to purchase during general sale or who missed out on the selective and randomly chosen verified fan process, ticketless. 

“Last time I dealt with Ticketmaster, I actually wasn’t able to get a ticket. I was trying to buy Taylor Swift tickets with my sister during the pre-sale and Ticketmaster limited us to 2 tickets when we were trying to buy 3. There originally wasn’t a limit to the amount of tickets we could buy so it was a bit disappointing,” Chu said.

Not only do teenagers suffer from the inability to get tickets to see their favorite performers but even teachers like Spanish and leadership teacher Mrs. Boothe have not been able to get tickets and have expressed their frustration with the company.

“I was not able to get Taylor Swift tickets because the Ticketmaster website oversold too many pre-sale codes and it wasn’t able to stop bots from buying tickets so many people were not able to buy tickets. This system let down a lot of fans and Taylor swift as well,” Boothe said.

The dominance Ticketmaster holds in the live event industry allows the company to rack up ticketing fees causing dynamic pricing. The algorithm that creates the dynamic pricing causes prices to go up based on supply and demand.

“Ticketmaster could be better. Most of the time it can be very easy to use, but when you’re buying tickets for a show with a very high demand it can become very difficult due to the dynamic pricing,” sophomore Brighid Doherty said.

“Ticketmaster is very frustrating for both fans and artists. Artists feel like they have to use Ticketmaster because it is the easiest way for them to book venues and have their fans buy tickets although time and time again artists have been let down by the ticket-buying process,” said Boothe

 “It’s frustrating for the fans because Ticketmaster is very glitchy, it hasn’t been able to stop bots from buying tickets, and the dynamic pricing is SO unfair and annoying. I hope a new system comes along that artists can use so people no longer have to use Ticketmaster. I hope it is a more fair system and that it does not have dynamic pricing.”

The outrage of Taylor Swift fans sparked notice from the government. Many senators and representatives from the house have called out the company for their monopoly in the live event industry. 

The Department of Justice has begun to investigate the parent company, Live Nation, on if the industry leader has abused its power. The investigation is still ongoing and has no known updated outcome as of now. 

Ticketmaster’s industry lead and dominance in its field create an unhealthy power that allows the company to rip off the millions of customers and artists who are forced to use the company to get tickets to their favorite live events.